New superfast gigabit broadband by Virgin Media rolled out today across NI

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Around 25k homes in the Portadown, Craigavon and Lurgan area can access gigabit broadband - 25 times faster than the local average but at a price.

From today (Thursday), Virgin Media is connecting its entire network of 400,000 homes across NI to the system - prices start at £62 per month on an 18 month contract.

The operator’s entire network can now benefit from Virgin Media’s next-generation Gig1 broadband which offers average download speeds of 1,140Mbps.

The major connectivity boost comes at a time when many people are increasingly reliant on their home broadband to stay connected to the things and people that matter to them.

Seamus McCorry (Virgin Media Regional Director for Northern Ireland),  Paul Murphy (Virgin Media Engineer) and Economy Minister Diane Dodds outside Parliament Buildings, Belfast, to mark the launch of Virgin Media’s Gig1 broadband being made available to homes across Northern Ireland.  Credit: VirginMedia/Declan McKennaSeamus McCorry (Virgin Media Regional Director for Northern Ireland),  Paul Murphy (Virgin Media Engineer) and Economy Minister Diane Dodds outside Parliament Buildings, Belfast, to mark the launch of Virgin Media’s Gig1 broadband being made available to homes across Northern Ireland.  Credit: VirginMedia/Declan McKenna
Seamus McCorry (Virgin Media Regional Director for Northern Ireland), Paul Murphy (Virgin Media Engineer) and Economy Minister Diane Dodds outside Parliament Buildings, Belfast, to mark the launch of Virgin Media’s Gig1 broadband being made available to homes across Northern Ireland. Credit: VirginMedia/Declan McKenna

Recently there had been complaints that home working and home schooling had become problematic to some due to slow broadband speeds, particularly in rural areas.

Virgin Media said: “The province is the first area to benefit from a complete region-wide Gig1 launch.

“Today’s launches mean that, in total, 6.8 million homes across the UK can now access these hyperfast speeds from the nation’s largest gigabit provider. The Government has set a target for all UK premises to have access to gigabit speeds by 2025.

“The next-generation launch comes as new research reveals that people working from home are wasting an average of 11 minutes per day to slow broadband – equivalent to four full working days since the start of lockdown in March.

“Virgin Media’s Gigabit Opportunity report identifies that eradicating this lost time with gigabit broadband could unlock a potential economic benefit worth more than £11bn a year in saved working hours.

“Virgin Media’s investment means its entire network in NI can now access gigabit speeds. In August, Virgin Media Ireland also activated its gigabit network in the Republic of Ireland.”

Economy Minister, Diane Dodds, said: “I welcome Virgin Media’s investment in NI and this significant achievement in further expanding gigabit capable fibre services to citizens and businesses. This comes at a time when the importance of telecommunications has become so prominent. Connectivity will play a vital role in re-building the NI economy as we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis.”

Seamus McCorry, NI Regional Director at Virgin Media, said: “As part of our continued multimillion pound investment in NI, the country now boasts some of the world’s fastest broadband speeds as a result of Virgin Media’s latest Gig1 switch-on.

“These hyperfast speeds will empower those working from home, learning online, video calling friends and family, or binging on a box set in 4K – all of which can be done at the same time, without delay.

“Whatever the future holds, we’re connecting our customers to what’s next.”

Virgin Media has invested more than £150 million in NI since 2016, improving connectivity by expanding its network across the country as well as opening a brand new office in Belfast.

The company also won a Government-backed Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) contract in Belfast last year which saw more than 200 Belfast City Council locations connected to its ultrafast network, including offices, parks and tourist attractions across the city region.

Customers taking Gig1 will benefit from Virgin Media’s new and best ever equipped gigabit capable router – the Hub 4. The new router is Virgin Media’s fastest to date and features improved WiFi hardware to provide speedy and reliable connectivity throughout customers’ homes.

Gig1 broadband is available to new and existing customers and can be packaged with or without telephone, TV and mobile services. Prices start from £62 per month on an 18 month contract with a guaranteed price freeze for at least 24 months.

With Virgin Media’s hyperfast gigabit connection, ultra-high definition 4K films and TV programmes, very large files and 360 degree videos can be downloaded almost instantaneously, even with multiple devices using the connection simultaneously. As broadband data use increases tenfold every 7 years, the connection will also support innovative technologies like virtual and augmented reality headsets, 8K streaming, cloud gaming and futuristic immersive in-home entertainment.

Virgin Media has the largest gigabit-capable network in the UK which currently passes more than 15 million UK premises. The network consists of both fibre-rich cable and fibre connected directly to the premises, both of which can provide customers with gigabit speeds.

Upgrades to the network mean that Virgin Media has been able to introduce the gigabit service without needing to excavate roads and streets to install new cables.

Customers can find out more and buy Gig1 at www.virginmedia.com/Gig1Fibre

-

-

Call for action as patients feel let down and worried at lack of GPs. Read the story here-

-

Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.